Fall is now upon us, and with winter around the corner, we’re bundling up and breaking out the cold-weather gear. Fortunately, with the recent resurgence of high-quality heritage menswear, there’s never been a better time to invest in classic frost-battling essentials that are built to last. From warm woolen knits to sheltering coats, we’ve rounded up our picks for sustainable garments that will help you withstand the worst that fall—and winter—have to offer. So suit up, boot up, and hit the jump for the greatest green gear to weather the cooler months to come.
A substantial coat is your first line of defense against blasts of wind, rain, and snow, and this heavy-duty Ayling Pea Coat by Krane is capable of fending off the worst Jack Frost has to offer. All of the wool used in each jacket is reclaimed from Italian army blankets, and the completed coat is bolstered with all the bells and whistles: a quilted lining, storm flap, shawl collar, welted pockets, and industrial closures.
If you’re on the hunt for a lightweight technical layer that will keep you cozy in a blizzard without weighing you down, look no further than Patagonia’s Down Sweater. This ultrawarm puffer jacket is filled with high-loft down wrapped in a windproof, 100 percent recycled polyester shell. It’s also highly compressible and tear-resistant, making it a great companion for trekking through snowdrifts or hitting the slopes.
A warm winter knit is an essential part of your shiver-proof wardrobe, but sustainable and stylish options can be hard to find—which is why we’re thankful that Commerce With a Conscience turned us on to the gorgeous organic cotton sweaters in Knowledge’s Autumn/Winter 2010 collection. From chunky shawl collar cable knits to wintry Fair Isle numbers, the Danish brand came up all aces this year with a line of ethically made pullovers that we can’t wait to pull on ourselves.
A FINE VINTAGE
As temperatures drop, we see cottons and linens swept aside in favor more substantial fabrics. Corduroy, flannel, and velvet are all fine choices for fall weather, but there’s no natural fabric hardier than tweed. We’re not alone in that belief, either; for the past few years, the wooly woven has been decking out runways left and right. This traditional Scottish fabric features a sturdy water-repellent weave that served as one of the earliest forms of camouflage for hunters. Because garments made from the good stuff wear like iron and last forever, look for vintage jackets on eBay and at thrift stores. Harris Tweed—its Taransay jacket is pictured above—is one of the more celebrated brands.
SPIN ME RIGHT ROUND
Speaking of Scottish fabrics, this verdant tie by The Windmill Club offers an elegant new take on a traditional tartan weave. Trim, prim, and crafted from 100 percent deadstock silk, it’s the perfect neckpiece for dressier fall occasions. If the bow tie is a bit affected for your taste, the label makes an equally handsome four-in-hand, as well. Just act fast, as all of its ties are available in very limited runs.
The onset of brisk weather presents a predicament for smartphone owners averse to frostbite. Most touchscreens don’t respond to gloved hands. Enter fashion startup Dots Gloves, which makes toasty British merino lambswool gloves interlaced with touchscreen-sensitive fibers that allow you to tap away on your iPhone without losing a digit. The cool kids at Opening Ceremony have given the gloves their stamp of approval, but the half-price pairs available directly from Dots suit us just fine.
When it comes down to it, sturdy boots are a fall essential, and although leather is far from an ideal eco-material, it can withstand wear, tear, and inclement weather practically forever if properly cared for. Wisconsin-based Thorogood recently teamed up with Epaulet to create a stylish pair of American-made kicks that are hardy enough to last a lifetime without breaking the bank. Their cork-filled soles cushion each step, and a goodyear welt ensures that they can be resoled again and again through the years. Hit them with a coat of all-natural Obenauf’s Heavy Duty LP to preserve the leather by locking out rain and snow all season long.
RAD IN PLAID
A warm scarf is a critical piece of your cold-weather kit because it fills in the chink of exposed skin between your jacket and your hat. This super-soft merino wool scarf by Nau blazes a trail with warm autumnal tones that makes it a natural fit for brisk trips around town. Best of all, Nau ensures that all of its wool comes from farms that maintain the highest standards for land use, water conservation, and animal health and welfare.
Now that we’ve covered the touchstones of a green fall wardrobe, it helps to have a sturdy carryall to tote them in. One of our all-time favorite options are Carga’s industrial-cool bags. Each minimalist bag is hand-assembled in Buenos Aires from a sheet of recycled felt, then fastened together with heavy-duty rivets.